Walk Through The Darkness To Find The Light

Walk Through The Darkness To Find The Light

You can turn hardships into blessings.
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You are not damaged goods. You are not your failed attempts at success. You are not your mistakes. You are your lessons learned. You are your victories on your way to success. You are the strength because of your obstacle.

One thing I've learned is not to make something your everything, because when it's gone, who are you? I used to think that without love, I was nothing. Now I know I am whole, even without someone. I used to think that without fitness, I wasn't enough. I thought running was my euphoria, but now I know I am my source of happiness.

There are many things we don't have control over, like a freak snowstorm on the first day of spring, or getting a flat tire. Those are things that are out of our hands, but we have the power to control how we respond to unexpected events. I'm not saying to live life with rose-colored glasses, but understand that there is good in every situation, even if you don't think it.

It's easy to get angry, to resent, or loathe the obstacle you are faced with. When you are feeling hopeless, defeated, and discouraged, find the light.

You are in a tunnel right now, and you can choose to close your eyes and be swallowed by darkness and fall to your knees. Or, you can fixate on the way out, that light that is so far away, but it is there.

It's dim and hazy, but it is at the end waiting for you. It is cheering you on. There is an opening, and there is a way to escape. You have to believe that you can get out. Your perspective is everything.

It's tempting to neglect all your responsibilities and wallow in your sorrows. Laying in bed all day seems like the only way to feel better. That's the simple way to deal with your problems. But getting up, putting on your favorite outfit, brewing a great cup of coffee and putting your best foot forward is difficult.

It feels intricate, maybe even pointless. You may have a million reasons to stay in that tunnel. Show the world one reason to come out on the other side. Come out with a smile brighter than ever before.

Nothing will ever be taken from you without being replaced by something extravagant, which is exactly why it is crucial not to define yourself by what you have. It can be taken away from you at any given moment. Know that you are who you are, based on the things that you have learned and things you've grown through.

You are not a number on a scale because you finally reached your goal weight. Instead, you are a strong-willed, determined, healthier person because you learned to persevere. You are not your 3.8 GPA; you are an intelligent, hard-working, dedicated student who earned their grades.

You are not your end results; you are the process along the way. You are the things that shaped you into who you are now. You are the way you approach your problems. You are the way you choose to respond to unfortunate life events.

Take the necessary time to let it all out. Cry in the shower. Throw a tantrum. Feel bad for yourself. Be mad. Then stop. Take a deep breath. Know that you are still strong. You are still resilient. Brush yourself off, and keep going.

You may not be in control, but you have the power to make nectarous lemonade out of the most tart lemons.

Small steps every day, and one step closer to that light. One day wiser. Another lesson learned. Once you reach that light, I hope you never turn back.

Become the light. Become someone else's reason to persist. Show the world that it may challenge you and try to tear you to pieces, but it will never shatter you. There is something to live for, so find it and run with it.

Yes, the journey to the other end is daunting but worthwhile. Don't wait another day to change your outlook on life. Start now, start at this very moment.

Gloves on, fists up. Don't let life knock you out.

Cover Image Credit: Gina Capone

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10 Bible Verses for Self Esteem

Sometimes you need to search for inner strength and find your own self worth.
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We all get those days that we just don't feel good enough for anything. Everything is going wrong. For me, I go to the bible to read the words of God. His personal dialog for us is filled with encouragement, hope, and lessons we can learn from. Here are my top ten verses that are uplifting and impacting when at the lowest of lows:

1. Philippians 4:13:

I can do all things in Him who strengthens me.

2. Psalm 46:5

God is within her, she will not fall.

3. Proverbs 31:25

She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.

4. Psalm 28:76

The Lord is my strength and my shield.

5. 1 Corinthians 25:10

By the grace of God, I am what I am.

6. Romans 5:8

I loved you at your darkest.

7. Psalm 62:5-6

Only God gives inward peace, and I depend on Him. God alone is the mighty rock that keeps me safe, and he is the fortress where I feel secure.

8. 2 Timothy 1:7

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.

9. 1 Peter 2:9

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

10. 2 Chronicles 20:15

The battle is not ours, but God's.

Cover Image Credit: chinadaily

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Looking Back At My Past

When I moved out of my dad's house at 18, I learned several life lessons the hard way. It was an uphill battle to figure out "adulting." I hope this will give some people the ability to learn certain things without going down the hard path.

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Life has a way of teaching lessons when you are overwhelmed. The more you are exposed to, the easier it is to learn these lessons. This article goes into what I wish I knew when I first got onto my own. There were many struggles, hardships and tough times you go through when you start your walk of life alone. But with it comes victories, and the knowledge of being able to get through anything. I hope when people read this article they will see what I put as a priority to learn when you become independent.

1. Money!

Learn how to budget! Learn how you're bank works, learn about taxes. Yes these seem like boring subjects, but money, or the lack thereof, can and will make your life miserable. This is something that many adults have trouble with, and it will put stress onto you. Just taking an afternoon to learn about what you need to do for your money needs will reduce stress.

2. Make at least one friend at the place you live.

The first apartment complex I lived at, I met a (I think) 45-50 year old man. I will not actually say his name but for this purpose his name is "Tim". Tim had lived in that complex for about 20 years, and he knew the staff and the residents. If I needed help or someone to talk to. He was more of a father figure than a creepy old guy. I was new to the town, living by myself, in the middle ground between a couple of in-town gangs. I needed all the help I could get, and when you have a connection it helps.

3. Know the differences between needs and wants.

Figure out your needs: food, rent, utilities. This type of thing ties into money and time. Do not invest too much time in people that are not good for you. Invest your time in your interests, hobbies, things that make you content. When you put your time in someone who at the end isn't worth it, it will occupy your mind months after they are gone.

4. Stay in contact with your family. 

My family is pretty distant to each other. We could probably go a year without talking and it wouldn't bug me. My mom and I have gotten close recently. Generally the 'after high school' years. My mom has helped me through hard times, she has leaded me an ear, or some tough advice. Yes we've had our hard times, but there are many things that I have learned from her. I understand that once you get out on your own, it is easy to stop talking to them; especially if you had a rough time growing up. A story for another time, but if you can stay in contact even if it's as little as a text from now and then. Family is something that is hard to replace once they are gone.

5. The way life teaches lessons. 

Life will teach lessons easy at first, then they will get harder to learn as we get older. An example of this is keeping your room clean as a child, then when you have an apartment. There is more cleaning to do. If you add kids and a house to that, it's even harder. My mom has an odd way of explaining this lesson. "It's like getting hit with a 2x4." The lesson first hits you, and it's small like a golf ball. Then the baseball hits you if you didn't learn before. Before you know it you get hit by a 2x4 and the lesson will hurt in someway. So please learn it before you get hit with a 2x4.

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